Preparing for HS

We're still about 8 mos out from applying, but I was wondering if there is anything that we could be doing now while we wait.  I'm going to try and get all of our documents in the next few weeks.  Is it too early to have our fingerprints?  Dr's note?  Background check?  Reference letters?


Re: Preparing for HS

  • I'd wait on the background checks, since they have to be done within a year of your actual approval. Same with the doctor's note, but you can at least talk to your potential references and prepare them. Our agency had them fill out a form with specific questions, so you may not want to have everyone write a letter...unless you have the forms.

    You can make sure your house has all the necessary safety features, like a fire extinguisher, baby gates, emergency numbers, etc.  I'm sure an agency would give you a checklist to get started.

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  • You could go ahead and ask you references -- some of ours took quite a few months and many of them wanted more time to put thought into the letter, so I think it would be okay to start on that.

    Also, you can start on your autobiography.  I'm sure we can all send you sample questions that were asked of us.  Some like these written, some will just be asked, but it will help if you've thought them through in advance!  Otherwise, I would say start cleaning and organizing now!

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  • At this point, I would stick to doing basic research, honestly.  Our agency had very specific paperwork for everything.  Even our references were based on a set of questions provided by the agency.  If you are doing international adoption, all your documents may have to be recent (ours all had to be within 3 months of the submission of our application), so by waiting you will avoid having to paying for them twice.

    I know it's frustrating.  If you know what agency you will be using, call them and ask what they recommend you do.  If not, maybe try to research agencies and narrow that down while you wait?

  • I really think it is best to wait until you are signed with your agency or attorney before having a HS if you are DA/IA.

    If you are already signed with an attorney or agency then they should be guiding you through and sending you the proper paperwork (IMO with an attorney/agency that is doing their job).

    It isn't necessarily a doctor's note you need but rather there is usually a very specific form that your agency/attorney desires to have completed. Also with reference letters - it isn't always just a simple letter - some require forms to be completed by a reference instead of an open letter and also there may be restrictions on who can complete the letters.


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